The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) held a community vigil in support of immigration reform on Wednesday.
The TIRRC is a statewide, immigrant and refugee-led collaboration that focuses on empowering immigrants and refugees throughout Tennessee.
Their goal is to “develop a unified voice, defend their rights, and create an atmosphere in which they are recognized as positive contributors to the state,” a release stated.
The vigil was held at Coleman Park on Thompson Lane beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The event comes as Senate is expected to vote on a new version of the immigration bill this week.
Naomi Florentino spoke in support of reform at the rally.
“As an undocumented student I was told that I would never go to college because undocumented students could never, go to college in Tennessee. I found out that was not true,” said Florentino.
The bill was brokered by Tennessee's own Bob Corker and would provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented Americans, but also further militarize our borders.
Families that would be directly affected by the bill along with faith leaders and community groups gathered in support of the reform.
Although they view the bill as flawed, they urge their Senators to vote in favor of the bill they believe will help move the country forward and keep families together.